culture / nature / structure

Meghan Moe Beitiks
a lab for apologies and forgiveness

A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.5 (2014)

ILab vn Version 5 of the Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness, I built a gassing station for a uranium-reducing bacteria in the SymbioticA laboratory at the University of Western Australia, and crafted a performance for it using documentation of– and soil from– a Montebello Islands nuclear test site. I interviewed scientists from LaTrobe University working with the bacteria and asked them to re-perform moments from a movie referencing cold fusion. Within the scope of the work, I seek to draw connections between history, site, emotion, popular culture, and scientific research.

lab vv

Act of Research: Lucie and Liz from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

UPDATE: one of the test tubes gassed during this performance, containing soil from Montebello Islands, has led to the study of a new bacteria at LaTrobe University. The new strain will be called “LuMoe,” for Lucie Semenec and Moe Beitiks. Research on this bacteria will likely lead to “Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.6.”

2014-10-15 14.18.47 (1)

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.4 (2014)

LFAF WorkshopI conducted a workshop version of Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness, culminating in a live performance, with the parishioners and community of the All Saints Episcopalian Church in Saugatuck, Michigan. The workshop was two weeks, and explored the grounds of the church retreat house as a site for Apologies and Forgiveness. Marissa Lee Benedict, Dulcee Bohem and Sarah Knutdson were also kind enough to come out and engage in discussion salons of their work as pertains to the environment.

Here’s a radio interview I gave with Father Cory Stoppel on Holland, Michigan’s “Talk of the Town” about the process.

Thanks to Cheryl, Kathy, Rocky, Persis and Caitlin. Video footage by Lucia Earle.

A Lab For Apologies and Forgiveness v. 4: All Saints’ Episcopal Church from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.3 (2013)

 

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.3 from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.


“A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness” is an ongoing work in which I perform within a multimedia workspace, creating dialogues between uranium-reducing bacteria, accidents within the Manhattan Project, public apologies, the idea of safe distance, the words of a microbiologist, materials and cultural memes in an attempt to create a trans-human act.

In version 3, collaborator Sarah Knudtson and I ask members of an audience to stand in space according to a diagram of a Manhattan Project nuclear accident. While a clip depicting the accident from the film “Fat Man and Little Boy” plays, these participants are thrown spinach-seed infused seed bombs while Knudtson tapes out blast patterns on the floor. As Knudston sketches images pulled from Manhattan-Project research, I unpack site-specific ideas of safe distance, remediation and recovery. The audience is asked to read along with an interview of a scientist researching uranium-reducing bacteria and to breathe along to a clip of John Cusack. The performance is a half-hour long non-linear journey through the modern meanings of nuclear toxicity, error, our expanded implication and potential collective recovery.

A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.2 / Act of Research v. 1 (2013)

 

Act of Research

Part of “A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness,” An ongoing work in which I perform within a multimedia workspace, creating dialogues between uranium-reducing bacteria, accidents within the Manhattan Project, public apologies, the idea of safe distance, the words of a microbiologist, materials and cultural memes in an attempt to create a trans-human act.

“Act of Research v.1” is the creation of a benign bomb. Bomb creation is set to a scene from the 1989 film “Fat Man and Little Boy,” in which a nuclear accident is fictionalized. I appropriate imagery and presence from the film in an attempt to create, as Kris Lenz wrote in Fnews, “an alternative reality where art, science and drama meet at a crossroads. In this version, the outcome is not an ecological disaster that could take millions of years to remediate, but instead a conversation where awareness of environmental concerns and solutions are raised and disseminated.” photos by Arjuna Capulong.

A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.1 (2012)

_MG_3766